Russian grandmother kills wolf with ax, bare hands

Metro Uk reports on a Russian grandmother's act of bravery while tending her flock of sheep. "Speaking from hospital with her hand bandaged, Mrs Maksudova said she was 'not even frightened' during the wolf attack."


  1. An axe is an excellent equalizer up to and including wolf. I wouldn’t want to go against a bear with just an axe though.

    I bet Granny would rate as “Spot on” in Hardening the fuck up ratings.

    1. Bear encounters are fairly common for treeplanters in BC, and we all spent a lot of time thinking about what to do, what might happen.

      We usually worked in pairs.  The classic planter joke went something like:

      “What would you do if a bear attacked?”

      “I’d use my shovel”

      “Against a bear?”

      “No, against your kneecap.  Then I’d run.”

      Of course, actual bear attacks are extremely rare.  I’ve encountered hundreds, and never had a problem (though I’ve had a few moments of concern).

      1. I have to wonder.. in the worst case sorts of scenarios, what tactics would be best against a bear? You can’t outrun it, you could maybe outclimb it long enought to gain an advantage it if you start at some distance, but when it comes down to fighting for your life, what should you do?

        The neck doesn’t strike me as terribly vulnerable on a bear, even with a weapon like a hatchet or axe. My first thought is to go for the eyes and head, try to blind it or crush the skull. Even without a clean blow, it seems like the best chance for a quick end to the fight, with the best odds of a one-hit kill or stun – not to mention it’s the most easily struck vital area. The claws are what you really want to look out for, but taking out the bear’s capacity to bite, if nothing else, is one less source of mauling to worry about.

        Then there’s the problem of how to make the strike. Bears are fast and heavy. Receiving a charge (and they’re going to charge you) is gonna be tricky. With an axe, taking cover seems like the best option, ducking behind a tree or rock, forcing the bear to slow to a stop, depriving it of momentum and exploiting its greater inertia and slower reflexes to make an overhand strike onto the muzzle or brow. If given a choice of melee weapon, a spear or other polearm could be used in employing pike tactics to try to get the bear to impale itself, or at the very least offers enough reach to keep the creature at bay until it abandons it’s attack.

        1. Striking at a bear’s head is essentially pointless unless you can wind up and belt it out of the park using something heavy with a blade like a splitting maul or a big axe.

          A bear’s skull is many times stronger than a human skull.  It’s like trying to crush a car’s wheel, it would take a lot of work.

          I’d suggest going for the snout, if you must lash out at the head.  They have very sensitive noses, much more acute at scenting than a dog, and I would hazard a guess that a bear snout has more nerves in it than any other sensory organ.  You might be able to stun it that way and get free if it has you in its clutches.

          Bears have poor daytime vision and are quite nearsighted, so they may have a hard time figuring out what you are at first glance.

          The main things I was taught in scouting for avoiding problems with bears is to make your presence known by being noisy, so bears can hear you coming and won’t be surprised into attack mode, and be sure to bearbag your smellables.  Also pitch your tent outside of the bear-muda triangle, which is the triangle formed from the points where you cook and eat, where you hang your bearbag, and where you dispose of cooking/cleaning waste.  I was always taught that if a bear begins to approach you, make yourself look as big as possible, wave your arms and scream at it.  Shout it down if it’s coming at you.

          Aside from that, I agree the polearm weapon idea is probably the most likely to work at killing a bear with a minimum of risk to yourself.  At least in lieu of a Mateba Unica model 6 loaded with .454 Casull rounds.

          1. Also I remember when I was canoing Bowron Lakes in BC, there were some rigs called bear scrambles.

            A ladder was permanently fixed between two trees, parallel to the ground about 20 or so feet above the ground.  Around the trunks of the trees was overlapping, smooth metal flashing that went from the ground all the way up to the ladder.  There was also a second ladder leaning against one of the trees tied to the platform ladder at the top.  If you were being chased by a bear, you could scramble up the ladder to the platform and pull the ladder you climbed up once you got to the top.  The metal flashing was some kind of non-corroding metal, maybe galvanized steel, or aluminum, and pretty thick, so if a bear tried to climb up after you, it wouldn’t be able to gain any purchase.  I thankfully never had cause to use it.  The only times we saw bears at Bowron, we were on the water in our canoes.

            Although we did sneak up on a moose cow and her calf once, accidentally.  Once we realized that there was a calf we beat a trail back the way we came as quietly as we could, took a half hour lunch and came back to the portage after the moose had left.


            Here’s a photo of a bear scramble at Bowron

          2.  Hehe – Your moose cow experience reminds me of a time when I was cycling down a back road and stopped to watch a very young fawn cross the road.  I then realized that a corresponding doe wouldn’t be far off and hightailed out of there before becoming an antler kebab.

          3. Dan. using genital references to denote inferiority has a high likelihood of causing offense. Not caring that you’re offending others says more about you than about whatever you’re slagging off.

        2.  Your best bet is to get him in his eyes. Its risky, but blind those evil bastards, and your kosher.

    2. From the video: “I wanted to open his mouth and put my fist all the way into his throat.”

      I think it was the wolf that needed the equalizer.

  2. “A crack shot and a skilled trapper, she became a cougar bounty hunter, killing over seventy of the big cats. She became known as Cougar Annie. ”

    I read an article somewhere in which the interviewer asked Annie how you could kill a cougar with your bare hands. She responded, as if amazed at such a simple question, “Why, you stick your hand down it’s throat and make a fist.”
    Something or other along those lines, anyway.

  3. I’ve heard before the clenched fist down throat tactic.  The canine is so keen to bite, it might maul your arm but will choke / suffocate on the part that blocks its breathing.

    Sounds good, I’m reticent to figure out how to practice.  Starting with say chihuahuas seems a little grotesque, but y’know – baby steps n’ all.

    Bears now … play dead? … thermonuke please.

  4. When dealing with bears, you need to know which kind of bear.  In Grizzly country, you wear bells and carry pepper spray.  Black bears are timid and relatively easy to scare off.  

    In some places in North America, you can encounter black bears or grizzly bears in the same place.  You can tell the difference by examining the bear scat.  Black bear scat will look like a bunch of compressed blueberries.  While Grizzly bear scat is characterized by the presence of mangled bells and an aroma of pepper spray.

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